During a visit this week to the NZME offices, a relaxed Eric Murray and Hamish Bond were clearly in a post-Rio Games mood. The back-to-back Olympic champions talked comfortably about their determination to be the best in the world and the pleasure they derived from being better than any other rowing pair.

Unbeaten at more than 60 regattas, the double gold medallists indicated they were taking some time to decide whether their brotherhood in a boat would continue. They have earned that right. They have turned years of practice in the gym and on the water into unrivalled success.

They faced, like other current champions, immense pressure to defend their title at the Rio Olympics. In the end, the coxless pair made it look easy, though their accomplished victory owed everything to hard graft that preceded it.

Quizzed on the secret of their success, Bond suggested their "yin and yang" personalities - his pessimism and Murray's optimism - gave them strength on the water.


Bond made the point that after all their success New Zealanders would always know them as a couple. Murray and Bond. Ferguson and MacDonald, the K2-500 heroes at the Los Angles and Seoul Olympics. Hillary and Tenzing, the first climbers to the summit of Mt Everest.

"You can't have one without the other," Bond remarked, and who would disagree with that.